High intensity interval training workouts are quite popular and have been for some time. In the fitness world, these workouts are often referred to as HIIT workouts. They are often used as quick fat burning workouts and are said to deliver fast and intense results. How they work is somewhat of an unknown, though many have tried to explain it. HIIT is largely used in the pursuit of weight loss or fat burning without the risk of losing muscle. It can be found in many home workout programs including in the Insanity Workout.
First, what is HIIT? High intensity interval training workouts are those that involve working out at a high intensity for a short period of time followed by a rest period or period spent working out at a lower level. In most cases, there are six to eight repetitions of the intense intervals, each followed by a medium intensity interval. All in all, HIIT workouts go quite fast—they are considered a good way to get a very effective workout in a shorter amount of time.
Just how long each interval lasts in your high intensity interval training workouts depends on the exercise you are using and how much drive you have in you. A runner may do 1 minute of sprinting followed by 2 minutes of jogging for 6 intervals. This would create a short but powerful workout. Other programs may have you doing longer periods of both types of intervals. It all depends on your goals, the workout you are doing, and how hard you are willing to go.
Typically people think of straight cardio workouts as the best way to burn fat. Although high intensity interval training workouts often don’t last as long as a regular cardio workout, they are shown to burn more fat. In addition, with HIIT you will continue burning fat long after the workout is over. The method has been shown to improve agility, endurance, and stamina. According to one study, HIIT can even improve insulin action, preventing type II diabetes.
In all, HIIT is an amazingly productive training method. Used by professional athletes, marathoners, and trainers, the benefits of high intensity interval training workouts are well known. The Insanity Workout system offers a variation on HIIT by increasing the intensity and the periods in which you work at the max level. This is why Insanity refers to their approach as MAX Interval Training.